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  MEDITATION GUIDELINES

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If you are serious about learning how to meditate, I recommend that you conduct a twenty-eight day demonstration of your willingness to increase your awareness of the divine presence within. Outlined below are a set of procedures for your consideration. I recommend meditating for twenty-eight consecutive days because it takes that long to break the habit patterns of the mind. These procedures are not rigid rules, but only optional guidelines so feel free to make any adjustments in them that would be appropriate to your needs.

1. THE DEDICATION — Before starting your meditation, dedicate your attunement by stating to yourself what you consider to be your ideal, your highest spiritual aspiration. Then as part of this dedication you also mentally review your purpose, the mental attitude you choose to help you grow toward your ideal. For example, for most Christians the highest ideal would be “Christ” or “Jesus” and an example of a possible mental purpose might be, “Thy Will be done.”

2. THE PLACE — Choose a quiet place to meditate and use the same place every day.

3. TIMING — Meditate at the same time each day ideally for a twenty-five minute period, although you may choose a shorter time period that will better meet your needs. Use a digital timer so you will not have to be concerned about monitoring the time.

4. THE POSTURE — Sit on a chair with the spine straight but not tense. Or if you are limber, you can sit on a folded blanket or pillow in a comfortable cross-legged position on the floor. Although having the spine erect is recommended, you may choose to practice meditation while lying down.

5. RELAXATION — Choose a method of relaxing the body. For example, take a few deep breaths or imagine a white light of blessing filling and surrounding the entire body. I highly recommend doing the Edgar Cayce head and neck exercise slowly: “…bend the head forward three times, to the back three times, to the right side three times [bringing the right ear toward the right shoulder], to the left side three times [bringing the left ear toward the left shoulder], and then circle the head each way three times.”1

6. MEDITATION PRACTICE — To practice the Prayer of the Heart, decide upon a word or a few words that would include “Jesus” or “Christ.” Bring the awareness to the heart area in the center of the chest or to the location of the heart itself. Then incorporate the breathing by repeating the first half of your affirmation on the inhalation and the second half on the exhalation. Ignore stray thoughts, neither being attracted to them nor trying to push them away. Stray thoughts will pass away as you simply maintain your awareness on the word or words chosen for meditation. Each time your affirmation slips away from your awareness, gently return to it while maintaining an attitude of nonjudgment and self-acceptance toward yourself. Understand that you are engaging a sacred process in which you are opening yourself to the awareness of the divine presence that is always within you.

7. COMPLETION OF MEDITATON — If desired, you can restate your spiritual ideal and your mental purpose at the end of meditation and/or give thanks for your attunement experience. Remain seated momentarily and then slowly get up without disturbing your peace.

8. ATTITUDE — Do not judge the depth of your meditation with your rational mind. Be patient and persistent in your practice. Set aside any expectation of specific results you want to see happen. Be willing to wait the full twenty-eight days before evaluating the demonstration of your willingness to become aware of the inner divine presence. Keep your heart open and remember to be receptive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Who is the real teacher of meditation.

The Prayer of the Heart is one of the best methods for a beginner to learn how to practice Christian meditation, but it is just one way of using the Jesus Prayer for attunement. In addition to focusing on the heart, there are many other intermediate and advanced meditation techniques that incorporate repeating the Divine Name of Jesus Christ. These various techniques that use the words of the Jesus Prayer lead toward the silence of wordless contemplation. More detailed information about how to practice the Prayer of the Heart and descriptions of other forms of meditation and contemplation can be found in Christian Meditation Inspired by Yoga and “A Course in Miracles”, my meditation manual.

1. Reading #3549-1, Edgar Cayce Readings 1971, 1993-2005 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation. Used by Permission, All Rights Reserved.


MEMORY WALK IN THE LIGHT


Autobiography including Christian Meditation   

   
    The excerpt above is from the autobiography Memory Walk in the Light: My Christian Yoga Life as "A Course in Miracles" by Donald James Giacobbe. Below is the author's description of this book:

    My life is an example of following in the footsteps of Jesus, while practicing yoga disciplines and applying the principles of A Course in Miracles." I am a “monk in the world,” not a father with children. Yet, as every father, I would like to leave behind an inheritance. This autobiography is my inheritance, but it is simply a reminder of our Father’s inheritanceHis gift of Himselfto all of His children. The only gold in this inheritance is the message of love and forgiveness that God wants me to hear, to live, and to share with you. I hope that you are entertained by my life story of blending the East and West. However, providing entertainment is not my goal. My purpose is to encourage you to increasingly awaken to the spiritual dimension of your own life. Consequently, this book includes how-to appendices on Christian meditation, exercise, and yoga postures, which can be practiced by anyone to grow spiritually. The goal is to let your spiritual practice become a way of life firmly centered in Christ. With this goal your spiritual practice starts out as an effort, becomes a necessity, and eventually becomes a delight, bringing many blessings.MMMmm


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